Adult Swim has always fostered TV insanity, but the network has ascended to surreal new heights with the 12-minute video Too Many Cooks. Created by Casper Kelly and originally aired during Adult Swim’s late night “Infomercials” slot, the short starts out as an innocent send-up of cheesy late Seventies/early Eighties sitcom intro credits. But it gradually becomes more demented, morphing from a wacky family comedy to a variety of genres (police procedural, sci-fi saga, superhero cartoon) as most of the ever-expanding cast is either blown up or brutally murdered by a creepy slasher.
“It takes a lot to make a stew / a pinch of salt and laughter too,” goes the intentionally dated theme song, as corny freeze-frames introduce the cast – from a cookie-cutter family to a random topless girl to a cat puppet that shoots rainbow lasers out of its paws. A few minutes in, the one-beat joke threatens to wear out its welcome, but the stylistic shifts keep upping the comedic ante.
At one point, a cast member named Katie Adkins is chased into a closet and murdered by a machete-wielding maniac straight out of an Eighties horror flick, as the generic theme continues in the background. Later, we cut to a sick man suffering from a highly contagious sitcom virus. There are decapitated heads and Seinfeld-styled basslines and Brady Bunch homages – it’s the perfect recipe for freaking out stoners and insomniacs late at night, and it works just as well in Youtube form.